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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:10 am 
Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3893
Location: UK
Hello Daxter
I'm remembering to review my daily monitoring most days, but not every day. This needs to change and I will make sure I am considering my monitoring list every day from now on.

really :pe:

It has been a while???????????????????????????

please consider that all you have to lose is the shit that you said you want to lose
compare that with what you have to gain
it really is a no-brainer

Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:38 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:14 pm
Posts: 38
It's been a long time since I posted. Since I last posted my partner and I have been somewhat in turmoil - my partner discovered a revelation I had kept from her about my behaviours in the past, I had a couple of days where I completely spiralled and couldn't control my urges to sexually fantasise about women at work, I was attracted to women at work, I stared at a woman in the street while I was with my partner. I felt like I took a massive step backwards. I've been sending me and my partner in circles - a new thing comes out that affects the way I am, I have to come clean about it, my partner is hurt and I beg for forgiveness, I drag out the argument by closing off and not listening or being supportive of my partner, eventually we make up and then a couple of days later it starts again. I've been nothing like a partner, really. I've neglected my work on RN as well. Overall a painful, difficult few weeks for both of us but especially my partner. I have abused her emotionally, abused her trust. She doesn't feel close to me, understandably. She feels like there is very little to keep us together at the moment. Amazingly she is still here but not because I deserve her.

I will earn that love and respect back from my partner. She is the most amazing person I've ever met and is deserving of so much more than I am giving her at the moment. I'm pledging the following things to ensure that I keep on the right path:

1. Complete honesty, spontaneously, at all times
2. Read my daily monitoring list every day (like I should be doing!)
3. Read on RN or other self help source every day
4. Stick to schedule for completing the recovery workshop (this is laid out in my goals in lesson 21, which I'll post after this)
5. Be empathetic to my partner. Take time every day to consider how she is feeling
6. Take time every day to think of my partner's needs and how I can fulfil them
7. Review my progress on the first day of every month to make sure I am moving forward in my recovery

I've really taken a big step backwards. Now I start moving forward again. I pledge this to myself and to my partner.

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:41 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:14 pm
Posts: 38
Kenzo - thank you for your feedback on my previous post, and for your check-in reminder yesterday. I've let myself and my partner down by not keeping up with my recovery. Now I will return to my recovery with commitment and I am going to keep moving forward. Thank you for looking out for me and for your advice.

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:40 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:14 pm
Posts: 38
Lesson 19

Some reflections on this lesson I thought were important: our decisions and actions boil down to the amount of emotional stimulation they provide. Since the point of life is to seek happiness, or the eradication of pain, the actions and decisions we will choose are going to be ones that we anticipate will bring us happiness or relieve pain. I can see how my decision making has been warped by seeking immediate gratification; I don't rely on values or the promise of long term stability to influence my behaviour. Instead I seek to minimise pain or get happiness immediately.

"It is your responsibility to determine what type of person you want to be and what type of life you want to live. You make these decisions based on what in life is important to you. In the context of recovery, begin by thinking of your values as those things which, when you are experiencing them, provide you with a feeling of accomplishment, satisfaction and a sense of purpose. You feel good associating yourself with these traits. Also, think of values as those same traits that, when you are acting in a way that contradicts them, provide you with feelings of failure, frustration, guilt and/or shame."

The quote above resonated with me. I think it lays out clearly a framework for basing decisions and life actions on values. Basically, do things that give you a sense of worth, accomplishment, purpose. Don't do things that make you feel guilty or frustrated or shameful. Maybe an oversimplification but I am tragically new to these ideas!

Reflections from the lesson's exercise:

I think I'm a person who is driven by rituals. The way I put on my clothes in the morning, the way I brush my teeth, the way I shower, the way I eat meals: I do all those things in a certain way, they have to follow a certain pattern. If I deviate from the pattern, I feel uncomfortable. Sometimes during the day I pick at my nails or my face - it gives me a sense of accomplishment to get rid of any tiny blemishes. I do this sometimes if I'm feeling anxious, to soothe myself and avoid uncomfortable thoughts or feelings. When I'm performing procedures at work I also stick to a ritual, but often I'll forget something and then feel foolish. When I have to make plans and make difficult decisions at work, I lose confidence and become indecisive; I've lost that sense of control, of normalcy. Being outside of this bubble of control make me uncomfortable.

Sometimes if I see a good looking woman at work - colleague or stranger, but more likely colleague as I have more interactions with them than simply walking past them - I will sometimes feel an urge to create a sexual image in my mind. This can happen very quickly and can sometimes be difficult to stop. The image would give me gratification, but it clashes with my values of respect and integrity. The presence of the compulsion, whether I follow through on it or not, is enough to create a lot of inner tension and anxiety, and it can sometimes feel like the only way to relieve the tension is to fantasise, to create the sexual image. This can create more tension and make it more likely I'll have another compulsive thought. I'm more likely to have compulsions if I'm feeling unstable - anxious or guilty, for instance. They can also be triggered by boredom. When I'm feeling happier and comfortable the compulsions don't arise.

I listen to podcasts and check sports or pop culture on my phone. Often I'll check my phone due to boredom, sometimes it will be out of avoidance of addressing something difficult. It helps me switch my mind off and escape. Same with podcasts - usually on the drive to work or when doing a chore like washing up. I'm interested in listening to them but there is a compulsive element there - I feel like I need to listen to them, to tick them off my list. I'll check my phone or listen to podcasts or play video games when I feel like I deserve to - if I feel like I'm doing well that day, feeling stable, not having compulsive thoughts. It's like I'm rewarding myself.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:54 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:14 pm
Posts: 38
Recovery goals - lesson 21

I'm posting my response to this lesson as I finish my personal history for lesson 20. It's quite an undertaking and I want to do it justice. It's been helpful and enlightening so far to go back over my past and try to identify periods where my addiction came into play, but it's not complete. I hope to post it in the next few days.

1. Failed goals

Pass my exams at university.
I didn't plan my revision properly, left myself too much time to do too much revision. I was unrealistic in my own abilities and assumed that things would be okay. I procrastinated and didn't practice enough. I've had a long history of doing this - putting off hard work and prioritising quick fix happiness strategies, like TV, video games, nights out with friends; anything really to avoid facing something that takes hard work. I've never really known the value of hard work - of planning a work schedule, setting targets, monitoring progress. I've always let life come to me. Always "gone with the flow". And I've been fortunate enough that things have generally worked out for me. I've had to resit some exams but never a whole year; I've managed to move forward in my career by doing the bare minimum. The only things I've truly "cared" about are things which give me instant happiness. I didn't careenough about my exams to pass. I didn't care enough about my partner not to cheat on her or to be honest with her about it. I've really only cared about myself and my own happiness. That has to change.

2. Successful goals

Start a blog.
I was interested in the goal of having my own blog; I cared about it. I researched blog host sites for one that suited me best, looking at which had the best community of bloggers. I set (loose) goals for writing posts - one every week or two - and mostly stuck to it. I read other posts and listened to podcasts and news for things to write about. I wrote down ideas for new posts to come back to. I took screenshots while playing games to use in my posts. At the time my partner said that I cared more about keeping up with my blog than I did about her - there may have been an element of truth to that.

3. My recovery goals

Complete recovery workshop by April 1st:
- complete up to lesson 28 by Christmas
- complete up to lesson 42 by February 1st
- complete up to lesson 59 by March 1st
- complete up to lesson 73 by April 1st
- read a lesson or read from another recovery thread once every day

Remain faithful to my partner.
- Stop all sexual/romantic compulsive thoughts
- Focus on her when we are out together. Refrain from looking around at other women when I'm with her and on my own
- Continue to refrain from using pornography

Treat other people with respect.
- As above - refrain from looking at other women
- Refrain from looking at women's feet in a secretive way
- Stop all compulsive sexual/romantic thoughts

Meditate for 5 minutes each day.
- Find time during work to be alone.
- Be aware of my feelings and do not fear them
- Close my eyes and allow my mind to clear

Practice meaningful conversation with my partner.
- approach conversations without fear
- review past conversations and identify where the problems were and how to do things better

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:35 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:14 pm
Posts: 38
Lesson 20

1. Personal history

Early childhood

I had a good upbringing with a loving family. My parents would argue a lot but they were very caring and tried to do the best for us. I don’t think I had any addictive tendencies around this time, but I know that I lived in fantasy worlds and played on my own quite a lot. I had friends that I played rugby with and got on well with at school, but I think I was usually happier if I was playing on my own, with Lego or toys in my bedroom. I felt inadequate next to my friends, who were all better at sports than me. My dad was also my rugby coach, and I wouldn’t say that he was overly critical, but he didn’t show a great deal of praise either.

The first girl I fancied was in primary school when I was about 8. She wasn’t the prettiest girl in my class but I liked her; I think I may have felt like she was more special because I imagined I was the only one who liked her, but I could just be speculating there. I barely even spoke to her; once some other girls pushed her towards me and held me against the fence so she could kiss me, but I wriggled free and ran away, pretending to be disgusted. I also started noticing girls’ and women’s feet around this age, and feeling a strange attraction to them. I was never sure what this was but I remember once walking to a particular area of the classroom where I could see the teacher’s feet when she had taken her shoes off. I was drawn to looking at them and I’ve never really been sure why, but since then I have had an obsession with looking at women’s feet.

Early teens/puberty

My family moved from London to Blackpool when I was 10. I was really sad to be leaving friends behind and was anxious about meet new people. I made friends with kids at secondary school, but after a couple of years that group of friends turned on me and bullied me. They put me down a lot, made fun of me for no reason. Once at a sleepover, we were playing dares, and went around the room showing our genitals. I was the last to go and I was terrified. I was about 13 and I hadn’t hit puberty yet, and I was worried I had a small penis. I showed my penis and the boys laughed at me and pointed out how small it was, calling me “shrivelled”.

Around this time I was noticing girls and started being attracted to them. I never had the courage to ask a girl out if I fancied her; I was content to observe and obsess from afar. I was also embarrassed about people finding out that I fancied someone. I was on a foreign exchange trip when I was about 14 and once of the girls there liked me. I liked her as well but I was terrified of showing it or reciprocating any feelings. I was scared of being made fun of by people for fancying someone.

Around 14 I also discovered internet porn. We had a computer in the living room in my house, and I would sometimes use it to look at porn even when other people were in the room. I would constantly be checking to see if they were turning around, and I was always extremely careful to erase the browser history and cover my tracks. I would sometimes look at pictures online, and I can remember the first time I ever orgasmed was while looking at porn - I don’t think I was even touching myself. From then on I would masturbate most days, often in bed at night, and whenever I was in the house alone I would use the computer to download porn. It became an obsession. I became efficient at downloading porn, masturbating and then deleting it all and covering my tracks. I would also use memories of porn I’d watched to masturbate at other times - I can remember on holiday once I waited in the car while the rest of my family went to a supermarket so I could masturbate before they got back. Without being aware of it at the time, I was fuelled by danger when I masturbated, as I was constantly paranoid about getting caught, but still did it in risky situations.

Late teens

This pattern of masturbating, watching porn and obsessing over girls went on for a few years and became my norm. I felt isolated and inadequate because it felt like everyone else in the world was hitting puberty (I was a late developer), kissing each other, having sex and being in relationships. My first girlfriend was when I was 16 - we were both petrified of each other but we both liked each other. We went on a couple of dates over a few weeks and texted back and forth a bit, but never kissed and barely touched. I was so scared of putting myself out there and doing anything physically intimate. I was terrified of rejection. When I started college at 16 I was still with this girl but I met someone in my class who I fell for and became obsessed with. She was very pretty and I could make her laugh, and I felt we had a connection. My girlfriend at the time broke up with me because we weren’t really in a proper relationship - we didn’t see each other on dates and barely spoke. I was hardly upset at all because I was infatuated with this new girl. Eventually that infatuation fizzled out as I tried and failed to pluck up the courage to ask her out, and I moved on. I met another girl that I was initially obsessed about and had my first kiss with, and we had a relationship for about six months - she ended things when it was fizzling out, and again I didn’t mind so much because I didn’t feel much for her by that time.

Throughout all this time I was still masturbating obsessively. I had evolved my fantasies to thinking about attractive girls in my classes (I did this at school as well as college), but weirdly never dared to masturbate to girls I actually fancied or was going out with. I held them apart as being special. The summer before I went to university, when I was 18, I was completely obsessed with a girl who was in a relationship. She was a firm Christian and didn’t believe in sex before marriage. She and I got on really well and I felt like I had a connection with her like no one else before this. We flirted a lot and she made it clear she liked me, but was still with her partner. She eventually broke up with him and we got together a week later. In hindsight she strung me along for the few weeks we were together - she knew that we couldn’t be together because her family were against her seeing a non-Christian. She told me it was over after about a month and I was devastated. Obviously looking back it doesn’t seem much to get upset over - it was only a few weeks - but at the time I was heartbroken.

I realise now that all my relationships or flings with women were essentially a series of obsessions were more meaningful in my head than they were in real life. The only meaningful relationship I’ve ever had is the one I have with my current partner, and to this point I haven’t treated the relationship or her with the respect she or it deserves.


Still obsessively looking at porn. Still compulsively looking at women’s feet - I would look around the lecture hall and steal glances at attractive women’s feet when I could. At uni I would move from obsession to obsession in terms of women, looking and fantasising about romantic or sexual situations from afar but always afraid to make any effort to talk to the target of my obsession or show any genuine interest. It was easier to stay in my head. Ironically this would make me feel more isolated and unwanted, so my chances of stepping out of my fantasies decreased. Things changed for me when I joined the rugby team and started drinking pretty heavily on the social nights. I had much more confidence in myself - actually I became quite arrogant - and drinking essentially facilitated talking to women. I had plenty of drunken dancefloor kisses, but never actually spoke to women properly or asked them out on dates. I would still have targets of obsession, but this wouldn’t stop me from drunkenly finding myself kissing some random person on a night out. I dated a woman in my 3rd year who was quite shy about sex and made excuses for it not to happen whenever we would meet up. She broke up with me after 6 months and it took me probably another 3 months to get over it - I pined after her for way too long, when really, there wasn’t all that much to our relationship that I missed, physical or emotional.

I lost my virginity when I was 23. I don’t remember much about it as I was quite drunk. I got a lot of confidence from the simple fact of not being a virgin anymore, and was more forward in approaching or flirting with women after that. I essentially kept drifting, looking out for women to talk to or dance with when I was out, always after I’d had a few drinks. A lot of times when I was out I was there just to have drinks with my friends, but women were always in the back of my mind. When I obsessed over women, I built them up in my head into something far bigger than they were; I would become infatuated with little details about them, obsess over tiny aspects of their behaviour towards me or text messages to me. I would imagine scenarios where I was the perfect lover, where I could comfort them, be their hero. In my 4th year I started dating a woman for a couple of weeks, but then someone who I had previously fancied showed interest in me and I went home with them when I was drunk, and I ended things with the other woman. Ironically, though I would fixate and obsess over women quite a bit, I treated women as rather disposable. I would message women I’d kissed on a night out for a couple of days, then get bored and move on. Drinking made me reckless: once I went home with a woman who was in a relationship with someone else, and once I had sex with someone who had herpes.

I met my partner halfway through my last year of university. I had liked her for a few weeks before we met properly - again on a night out, but when I was sober and able to have a conversation with her. I liked her a lot and felt so easy in her company. We got on really easily and sort of fell into being in a long term relationship without thinking much about it. She was (and is) incredibly caring and thoughtful, always making an effort to make me feel wanted and loved. In truth I took this for granted, and never really showed her the same effort in return. About 6 months after we got together, I got incredibly drunk on a night out to celebrate passing my exams, and I cheated on my partner with a friend of mine. I went back to her place but stopped short of having sex with her. I was filled with guilt, but I couldn’t face telling my partner what had happened, and resolved to keep it a secret forever. I lied to her for 4 years about it until the revelation came out 9 months ago this year.

In the next 2-3 years, I still masturbated using porn most days that I was in the house alone, and occasionally when my partner was in the house - in the toilet before having a shower, for instance. I would sometimes masturbate to sexual fantasies about people from work or my partner’s friends, and sometimes I would imagine having sex with other people while having sex with my partner. I also had romantic fantasies about some women - a couple of work colleagues and one of my partner’s friends - where I would imagine scenarios where I was in a relationship with them. I did this in more of a spontaneous way, and didn’t set aside time to sit down and fantasise like I might have done to masturbate, but nevertheless the thoughts were there. My partner and I lived apart for a year while she finished university, and during this time she was quite low - the distance affected her and I was not attentive enough to her needs at all. We visited a lot but I didn’t make enough effort to keep in contact on the days we didn’t see each other, and she had to drive us forward most of the time. Once during this time I flirted with a woman on a night out with friends, and near the end of the night she asked me to dance with her in a separate dancefloor of the club we were all in. I danced with her for about a minute, and felt extremely awkward, and asked to leave and rejoin the rest of our friends. Again, I never told my partner about this until I confessed it a few months ago. The most recent romantic fantasy I had was a few months ago about a work colleague - someone who I was attracted to because they treated me nicely and took time to talk to me. Similar to previous times, I pictured romantic situations of me and her together, like in scenes from movies.

Since the revelation of my behaviours, the frequency of thoughts of sexual fantasy increased dramatically. I became hyper aware of all my behaviours and interactions with women, and I think as a result I created an expectation of myself that I was simply this way, that if I saw an attractive woman I had to fantasise about her. In truth it never used to feel as paralysing or overwhelming as it has in the last few months. At times it feels like being forced to confront my sexual behaviours has been a cataclysmic moment, and has led to a personal crisis where my thoughts have completely escaped my control.

I have noticed a few patterns about my behaviours that I thought I should note down. First, I have an unhealthy, innate need to feel validated, to feel powerful, to feel like I’m worth something. Fantasising, cheating, watching porn, were all ways for me to achieve this validation - but clearly, they were all fabrications. None of those things led to any lasting happiness and only temporarily filled that need to feel worthwhile. Second, the person I was when I was drunk is not the person I was when I was sober. I needed to be drunk to talk to women, to flirt with them or to be sexual with them - when I was sober I would resort to fantasy and obsession. Third, those patterns of fantasy, obsession, and being secretive about my sexuality became ingrained at a fairly young age. I’ve kept parts of my sexuality from my partner because I haven’t been comfortable with revealing them - like my foot fetish, or wanting to try anal. Fourth, watching porn obsessively affected my concept of sex, women, and relationships. Sex used to seem like a formulaic affair - woman pleases man, man pleases woman, one orgasms, the other orgasms, end of story. I came to subconsciously expect things of women, like oral sex on demand. I had no concept of what a real woman looked like naked. Also, from watching porn, I developed the idea that behaviours that are taboo, like having sex with someone you aren't supposed to, like a friend's mother or a teacher, are more exciting - in the real world, this is not the case at all. Basically - life is not like it is in porn!

On the positive side: I’m building values on which I can base decisions and live my life. I’m continuing to abstain from porn. I can separate myself from my compulsive thoughts and realised that I’m not destined to be this way. I have a healthier view of sex with my partner and am trying to be more open with her and address her needs around sex. I am still pushing forward, reading, reflecting, trying to be better.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:38 am 
Recovery Coach

Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3893
Location: UK
Hi D
great openness and honesty in your last post
I am sure that this self analysis will help you as you go
own your past, do not hide from it
:g: :g: :g: :g:
It is your responsibility to determine what type of person you want to be and what type of life you want to live.


On the positive side: I’m building values on which I can base decisions and live my life. I’m continuing to abstain from porn.

but do remember that abstention is only a start, abstention is not recovery

I believe that you will get there,and hope that you believe that to

Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:47 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:14 pm
Posts: 38
Lesson 22

I had to go back over my measurements for these rituals, to add new compulsive elements I hadn't considered before and to understand the true influence of each element. It's been enlightening to really break down the elements of compulsion at play. With increased awareness of what these compulsions give me, how they stimulate me, I can start to detach them from myself. My compulsions are mine, they are part of me - but they don't need to be.

Compulsive ritual: sexual fantasy

Power - 3. It took me revisiting this ritual to realise that a sense of power (that I feel I lack in real life) is what really gives me stimulation from any sexual fantasy. In a fantasy I'm in control, I'm desirable, I'm powerful.

Time - 6 (the longer I fantasise the longer the feeling of being in control)
Intensity - 8 (I enjoy the feeling of being powerful and imagining situations where I'm in control can be very stimulating)
Habituation - 2 (I tend not to evolve the fantasies in terms of what happens, they mostly play out in the same way)

Score = 8

Sensory - 1. At first I thought this was more important than it actually is. Seeing a good looking person triggers the urge to fantasise, but from then on it's all in my head.

Time - 2 (happens very quickly, little effect on fantasy)
Intensity - 2 (little effect)
Habituation - 1 (little effect)

Score = 0.83

Fantasy (imagery) - 3.

Time - 6 (the longer I go, the more powerful the experience)
Intensity - 7 (creating images that are more stimulating based on my sexual preferences)
Habituation - 3 (I could evolve the images created but they mostly stay the same)

Score = 8

Fantasy (delusional) - 3. Similar to imagery fantasy. The delusional feeling of being desired and in control, which underlies the fantasy as a whole, is more stimulating than the simple imagery.

Time - 6
Intensity - 8
Habituation - 3

Score = 8.5

Accomplishment - 1. Not as strong a motivator, but I feel a need for accomplishment in many of the rituals in my life, even when the consequences of accomplishing something are negative, as with fantasising.

Time - 4
Intensity - 5 (a need to accomplish something can create quite a lot of tension and can drive a compulsion, just to relieve the tension caused by an urge)
Habituation - 2

Score = 1.83

Past - 2. A stronger motivator as I have relied on fantasy to manage my feelings for a very long time.

Time - 2 (little effect)
Intensity - 8 (in the past if I fantasised about people I was attracted to it would make the fantasy more powerful)
Habituation - 5

Score = 5

Total score for this ritual = 32.16

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 9:34 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:14 pm
Posts: 38
Lesson 23: reasons for measuring behaviour

I can gain deeper awareness of what makes up my compulsive behaviour. Breaking them down and recognising the patterns and emotions involved will show me how to change them. If I understand that this is simply a learned behaviour I have built up in response to certain feeling states, I can learn new behaviours that will serve me better and make me happier. Measuring the amount of emotional stimulation gained from these behaviours is important to know, because it shows me that I am using SOMETHING to make myself feel a certain way - clearly these behaviours are the wrong thing to be using to manage my emotions. If I can develop negative or harmful ways of getting emotional stimulation, then I can learn to develop positive ways of getting emotional stimulation instead.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:20 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:14 pm
Posts: 38
Lesson 24

Part 1 - my compulsive wheel

Fantasy (imagery)
Fantasy (delusional)
Self sabotage

Part 2 - compulsive rituals

At first I was unsure and a bit apprehensive about this exercise, as I feel these behaviours are more a reflection of my past than who I am and what I do now. Right now I no longer engage in fantasising about women romantically, and I have more control over sexual imagery and rarely use that form of fantasy either; the times I do are motivated by anxiety and guilt, rather than a desire to fantasise about someone for the purpose of masturbation or stimulation. But at one point I did engage in these behaviours more fully, and I can't be scared to examine them or I might be leaving the door open for them to return.

Ritual 1: staring at feet - current version. In the past my motivation to look at feet was driven by desire - now it is driven by shame, ingrained behaviour that I am working to stop. I rarely look at feet now, but when I do this is the pattern that occurs:

1. Noticed a good looking woman.
2. Noticed she was wearing shoes that showed part of her feet.
3. Felt an urge to look at her feet directly.
4. Felt uncomfortable for having an urge to stare and know that it's wrong.
5. Made an effort not to look.
6. Not looking created tension and feeling of suspense.
7. Gave in to pressure and looked down at her feet.
8. Felt a sense of relief and accomplishment that the tension had been relieved one way or another.
9. Felt guilty and shameful for looking and looked away quickly.

Ritual 1: staring at feet - past version. This is an example of the way I would look at feet in the past, before I realised how much of a problem it was.

1. Noticed a good looking woman at work.
2. Noticed she was wearing shoes that showed her feet.
3. Felt an urge to look at her feet.
4. Felt curious what her feet looked like.
5. This created a feeling of suspense.
6. Moved to a place in the room where I could see her feet.
7. Looked down at her feet while she wasn't looking.
8. Enjoyed the sight of them.
9. Felt accomplishment for looking without being noticed.

Ritual 2: sexual fantasy

1. Feeling guilty and shameful when reflecting on my past behaviour.
2. Saw a good looking woman at work.
3. Put pressure on myself not to think anything inappropriate.
4. Felt an inevitable sense that I would create a sexual image about her.
5. Felt guilty and anxious that I was thinking of fantasising.
6. Tried to think of other things to take my mind off the urge.
7. Gave in to mounting pressure of not thinking something sexual, and pictured the woman giving me oral sex.
8. Fantasy brought feeling of power, of being desired.
9. Aware that I could become aroused by this if I let it carry on.
10. Quickly thought of something else.
11. Felt guilty and shameful for having had a sexual thought about the woman.

Ritual 3: romantic fantasy

1. Noticed a good looking woman at work.
2. Felt a boost of self esteem when they were nice to me, i.e. smiled at me and made a joke.
3. Aware that they had made me feel good about myself.
4. Felt guilty for being stimulated that way.
5. More aware of my thoughts and actions the next time I saw them.
6. Over-analysed interactions with them and thought that they might be attracted to me.
7. Pictured me and the woman together in a romantic scene like in a movie.
8. Fantasy brought feeling of being desired.
9. Felt guilty for fantasising about them and thought about something else.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:54 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:14 pm
Posts: 38
My last compulsive ritual - porn. I didn't include this at first because it honestly slipped my mind - I hadn't watched porn for so long that the urges are hardly there anymore. But at one point I used porn compulsively, so it's important for me to map out this ritual so that I can ensure I understand it, and make sure I never return to that behaviour again.

Ritual 4: porn

1. Feel bored at home alone.
2. Think about watching porn.
3. Get excited thinking about porn.
4. Feel guilty and tell myself not to.
5. Urge remains, becomes stronger.
6. Get my phone out of the cupboard.
7. Search for videos on the internet.
8. Know I shouldn't be doing it but carry on.
9. Build suspense and arousal looking at videos, trying to find the right one.
10. Play with myself to keep myself on the brink of orgasm.
11. Choose a set of videos that I'm happy with.
12. Watch the videos in sequence, holding off on orgasm until I hit the right scene.
13. Orgasm at the perfect moment to the right scene.
14. Feel accomplishment and satisfaction.
15. Feel guilty and shameful.
16. Clean myself up and delete my browser history, put the phone back in the cupboard.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:51 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:14 pm
Posts: 38
Lesson 25

Reflections on lesson:

The beginning of any ritual is always the thought that I'm an addict. Remembering that I've fantasised about people, that I've stared at feet, been attracted to other women, all that shit. The thought that this is who I am. From then on it's all pressure to think or do something inappropriate driven by guilt and shame. Shame tells me that I can't see another person as good looking without fantasising about them. That I can't see a woman without looking at her feet. That's where it starts - I remember the point I'm at in my life and I feel a sense of inevitability that I will continue to do the disrespectful things I used to. I forget that I can be a much better person.

The sensory trigger for me is seeing a good looking woman. That will kick off a ritual (if it happens). But behind it is the sense I have that I'm not any different. That I'm destined to keep behaving badly. That's why I believe the beginning point to my rituals is feeling shameful - because when I'm feeling content, the urges go away.

Ritual to be measured: staring at feet

1. Feeling shameful for past behaviour. (BEGINNING)
2. See a good looking woman.
3. Feel an urge to look at her feet.
4. Know that I shouldn't look and know that it's wrong to want to look.
5. Feel guilty for the urge to look.
6. Try to distract myself and look elsewhere.
7. Pressure/tension of not looking builds and makes me anxious.
8. I give in to pressure and look down, pretending to look at something else.
9. Feel small initial sense of accomplishment - the tension of not looking is relieved even if it's in a negative way.
10. Feel guilty for having looked.
11. Look away quickly.

I found it difficult to identify a point of no return here, as, really, every point in this ritual could be a point of no return. I can change my actions and make better choices - treat women with respect, not stare at them, etc. - but I need to correct that initial feeling of shame. I have done inappropriate things but I am not destined to keep doing them. I believe that I can be healthy, have a healthy view of women, not stare, respect my partner and other women. I need to believe it all the time and remember that, when it comes down to it, I don't want to stare or be inappropriate - I want to be a good person.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:06 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:14 pm
Posts: 38
Lesson 26

I have taken an example from the previous post, as I feel it was fairly in depth already, and gone back over it to add more detail to map it out fully.

1. Reflecting on my past behaviour - made me feel guilty and shameful.
2. Saw a woman at work and noticed she was good looking.
3. Felt guilty and anxious for finding her good looking.
4. Became more aware of my thoughts and behaviour around this person.
5. Put pressure on myself not to think anything inappropriate.
6. Felt an inevitable sense that I would create a sexual image about her.
7. Felt guilty and anxious that I was thinking of fantasising.
8. Tried to think of other things to take my mind off the urge.
9. Gave in to mounting pressure of not thinking something sexual, and pictured the woman giving me oral sex.
10. Fantasy brought feeling of power, of being desired.
11. Aware that I could become aroused by this if I let it carry on.
12. Quickly thought of something else.
13. Felt guilty and shameful for having had a sexual thought about the woman.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:21 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:14 pm
Posts: 38
Lesson 27

I don't feel I have chained rituals together to keep myself in a state of euphoria, as described in this lesson, though I understand the powerful effects this could have if I were to do it. I used to use inappropriate fantasy for masturbation, which I suppose counts as combining the rituals of masturbation (which can be healthy) and fantasy (which was unhealthy).

A specific time when I've combined rituals would be fantasising about people I know while masturbating. Sometimes I would watch porn while masturbating, then switch to fantasising about someone to orgasm. In this way I would use the two rituals of porn and fantasy to keep myself going, prolong the arousal time, and build up the excitement more than I would by using each form of stimulation separately.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:09 pm 
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:22 am
Posts: 308
I found it difficult to identify a point of no return here, as, really, every point in this ritual could be a point of no return.

Quite alright, but
but I need to correct that initial feeling of shame.

I think you found your PONR...

Your post on 1/12/19 excellently details your relationship with guilt/shame and how it impacts your addictive behaviors. This is incredible insight that can be a great starting place to focus your energy on. How might your values or action plans contribute to healing the guilt and shame? What tools have you identified that help heal these internal wounds of guilt/shame?

No need to answer, just food for thought.

I have done inappropriate things but I am not destined to keep doing them. I believe that I can be healthy, have a healthy view of women, not stare, respect my partner and other women.

Dang, is that a mantra or what. Own it Dax. Say it to yourself in the mirror in the AM. Then go choose decisions that match that daily intention. Choose behaviors that match who you really are.

Be Well,


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